Is Your Small Business Ready For Google Hangouts on Air?

What are Google Hangouts on Air?

Hangouts On Air can be compared to your own TV show. They can be viewed by anyone and they are automatically recorded to your YouTube channel. You can invite individuals or circles to join the hangout and up to 10 people (including you) can be on at one time. You cannot invite the public to join your show on air; however, they are able to be viewed by everyone. You can also save the On Air Hangout and share a link to it via social media, your blog, and email. Not only can you use it to communicate with contractors and employees, you can use Google Hangouts to create and share content.


How can Google Hangouts help your small business?

Google Hangouts offers a number of features that make it extremely useful for almost any business model. Below are a couple of uses I came up with:

    • Increase the Know, Like & Trust Factor We all know by now that people do business with people they know, like and trust. And for us small business owners this means they need to know us. What better way is there than seeing us on video, during a live event?!


    • Content Creation Essentially what we’re doing is creating content. And probably the most engaging type of content!


    • Product Demonstrations For businesses who create products, HOAs are a wonderful way to demonstrate these products. For example, the computer retailer, Dell, used Google Hangouts to manage customer service and technical errors. This personal approach takes customer service to a whole new level. A company that sells beauty products launched a new product by holding beauty classes prior to the launch.


  • Group Coaching For coaches, trainers or any service provider who would like to deliver a training program to an unlimited number of participants. Just last week Youtube announced a way where we now can live stream HOAs privately. This opened huge monetizing options. In other words we can make people pay for a course and only those folks will be able to watch the live show as well as the recording.

Google Hangouts provides a number of benefits. From branding your business to making your customers’ experience an exceptional one, adding Google Hangouts to your marketing strategy is good business.


What do I need to know before I get started?

As with anything technical, there’s a few things you need before you get started.

    • Webcam: I suggest you get an external webcam. According to Mark Vang, the Logitech c920 is a good choice.


    • Headset: I recommend a headset as well, there will be less echo.


    • Lighting: This is essential. The better the lighting the better you look on video. Make sure you have a lot of light in front of you and on your side and not one dominant light source behind you, otherwise the camera will try to focus on that one. If you have a window in front of you, close the blinds.


  • Practice, practice & practice some more…Just like with anything new, you need a lot of practice. First I recommend you practice by yourself and with some friends. Then, when you feel it’s time (notice I didn’t say ‘when you’re ready?) go ahead and announce your very first Hangout on Air. I suggest you inform people that this is your first ever live event, this way they will be understanding when you face technical issues.


My ‘Learn-N-Play with Sarah on HOA’s’ Series

I did exactly what I described above and launched a ‘Learn-N-Play with Sarah on HOA’ series. 5 sessions in which I discovered this new technology and helped my audience discover it too. And believe me, it was a big step for me! If you know a little bit about me, you know that I’m of the introverted type and appearing in front of camera, broadcast to the whole world is not exactly within my comfort zone. But I announced the series, so I had to go ahead with it 😉


Want to learn from my mistakes?

If you see the potential in this format, I encourage you to find out more about it. My ‘Learn-N-Play’ series might be a good start for you, since you can learn from my mistakes & not make the same ones ! So below I’m listing each session and underneath the mistakes I’ve made. I hope this will help you to get started – and avoid the same mistakes ! 😉

The Trailer

The First Session: Blogging

Mistakes I made in this session: I should have invited a guest. To do this type of Q&A Hangout it’s better to invite a guest you can talk to. I also didn’t fully master the screensharing option and my lighting wasn’t ideal. I had too much light in the back, and not enough on me.

The Second Session: LinkedIn with Jo Saunders from Australia

Mistakes I made in this session: in this session my guest Jo Saunders had bandwidth problems and couldn’t get a good internet connection. Just before going live, her connection dropped and I was completely taken off guard since I had planned for this to be a Q&A session. Learning point: you ALWAYS need a plan B!

The Third Session: E-Mail Marketing with Brandon Schaefer

Mistakes I made in this session: in this session my guest Brandon Schaefer’s microphone was not strong enough so my audience couldn’t hear him well. Learning point: always do a test call!

The Fourth Session: WordPress Plugins with Ashley Faulkes

Mistakes I made in this session: this is probably the worst mistake I’ve made! I had myself ‘blueboxed’ the whole time. This means I had selected my thumbnail video, so the whole time the audience was only seeing myself, and not Ashley. How embarrassing! I’m just glad I didn’t pick my nose – or did I?!

The Fifth Session: Google Hangouts with Mark Vang

Mistakes I made in this session: out of all of them this is probably the best session. No technical glitches, good lighting… So you see, practice really does help!


So, is Your Small Business Ready For Google Hangouts on Air?

What do you think? Will you embrace the new technology available to us and use Google Hangouts in your business? Let me know in the comments below.

If you’d like to know about future hangouts I host, make sure you add me to your circles.

Sarah Santacroce

Sarah is an internationally recognized LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor who has personally coached over 1,900 entrepreneurs. She helps them position themselves as experts on LinkedIn so they get clients with ease. In addition, Sarah is known for helping helping conscious entrepreneurs market their business authentically & anxiety-free, sell their services & make a difference. She’s also the founder of The Gentle Business Revolution movement and host of the podcast with the same name. When she’s not working, she loves adventure & traveling, yoga & nature walks or hanging out with her family.

No Comments

  1. Brandon Schaefer on December 26, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Sarah, thank you very much for putting yourself out there with this post. I personally learned a ton from reading the post and will make sure to learn from all your mistakes. It’s good to see we go through similar things ie: the trials and tribulations of G+ Hangouts and Webinars. I’ll be sure to speak loud and clear next time as well. Thanks again for the opportunity, Brandon.

    • Sarah Santacroce on December 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      thanks again for playing along, Brandon ! we’ll do it again 😉

  2. Ashley Faulkes on December 30, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Hey Sarah
    Great that we can all learn from your mistakes. I don’t think my lighting was ideal in any case, so next time I will be better prepared too!
    Such is the way of tech and blogging, we are not perfect, we are not on TV, so all is good and I think the audiences expect a few issues. So no stress.
    All the best with the rest or future series
    Und gutes neues!

    • Sarah Santacroce on December 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      thanks Ashley. There’s always new things to learn, right? Es guets Nöis 🙂

  3. Brett Jarman on January 3, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Hi Sarah
    Good post, thank you.

    Sometimes I think the question is, is Google HOA ready for business? They’re great when they work but the reliability is a bit of a problem at times. I was using them for my group coaching clients but have abandoned them for now till the reliability improves.

    Meanwhile, can you point me in the direction of the YouTube announcement about making them private? That was an issue for me but I’m glad to know they have resolved it. Thank you.

  4. Linda Ursin on January 3, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I plan to do hangouts. I just have to figure out my content first 🙂

  5. Victoria on March 8, 2014 at 3:19 am

    This was a great post. Thank you for sharing meaningful content that actually helps users.

  6. […] Is your small business ready for Google Hangouts on Air? […]

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